Alonso’s presence will be a ‘formidable asset’

Mark Scott
Renault boss perplexed by 'more' leaving questions

Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul has said Fernando Alonso’s presence alone will be a “formidable asset” for the team.

Alonso will be returning to Formula 1 ahead of the 2021 season and his heading back for a third spell with the team he won two World Championship titles with back in 2005 and 2006.

The disillusioned Spaniard left the sport at the end of the 2018 campaign with McLaren, but has always been open to returning to Formula 1 in future if he felt the right opportunity came his way again.

That has now manifested with Renault who with Alonso have a joint vision of returning to the podium again, something the works team has not been able to achieve since the 2013 season.

Abiteboul did hint that someone from the Renault Academy could be called up to replace the McLaren-bound Daniel Ricciardo, but later cited “experience” as one of the key characteristics he was looking for in his next driver.

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That is something Alonso has in abundance with over 300 Formula 1 race starts to his name and helped him become the “natural choice” for Renault.

“The signing of Fernando Alonso is part of Groupe Renault’s plan to continue its commitment to F1 and to return to the top of the field,” Abiteboul said.

“His presence in our team is a formidable asset on the sporting level but also for the brand to which he is very attached. The strength of the bond between him, the team and the fans make him a natural choice.

“In addition to past successes, it is a bold mutual choice as well as a project for the future. His experience and determination will enable us to get the best out of each other to take the team towards the excellence that modern Formula 1 demands.

“He will also bring to our team, which has grown very fast, a culture of racing and winning to overcome hurdles together.

“Alongside Esteban, his mission will be to help Renault DP World F1 Team prepare for the 2022 season in the best possible conditions.”

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